“Lt. Gwendolyn” by Eve Ventrue

LT. GWENDOLYN, LADY OF PRENTISS is rather an enigma. Hailing from the Zenon region of Kana, ladies are expected to be smiling and demure and rather tiny in stature: the classical, tea-drinking Zenon-Girl that prospective gentlemen seek in earnest. The daughters of Prentiss, however, do not quite fit that mold. They are on the tallish side, usually in the upper five foot range, sometimes passing six feet. Gwendolyn was easily that, and also had a solid, rather husky frame. Gwen also was encumbered with a bad reputation around Zenon: a Black Widow, bad temper, sharp tongue. Why … she acted like a Vith woman.

Indeed, Gwen did have a bit of trouble with her temper. Her uncle of the Cone side of the family, Derlith, was fond of his niece and helped her channel her aggressions in constructive ways. He got her into contact sports: boxing, sambo, grappling–all things Zenon-girls was not expected to do. Gwen’s size and solidity helped to excel in those sports and Uncle Derlith took her to compete in tournaments every year on Onaris. She has a slight limp from a broken ankle suffered in one of those tournaments when she refused to submit from a sunk-in ankle-lock. Gwen also, unlike her sisters, mastered the FEDULA, the LosCapricos weapon of the Prentiss Household. She was quite deadly with it.

Lt. Gwendolyn wearing a Fleet Tremblar Uniform (note, the rapier-like FEDULA at her hip) –painting by Eve Ventrue

Gwen also had a good head on her shoulders. Instead of hoping to marry young, Gwen enrolled at the University of Arden and received an “E” degree in Stellar Engineering. Her Uncle Derlith, an Admiral of the 3rd Stellar Fleet, helped her secure a command chair on the Demophalon John, a scouting vessel. Gwen’s temperament did not suit her well to the rigors of command and she was considered a harsh and unreasonable disciplinarian and was roundly disliked by her crew: the “Grizzly Bear”, they called her in hushed tones.

There was a darkness that seemed to hang over Gwen growing up. She had an aunt on her mother’s Cone side of the family who terrified her. Darkness seemed to walk with the woman, and when she came to Prentiss for a visit, Gwen often hid. Even the lurid sound of her voice scared Gwen. Through the vents in the manor, Gwen could hear her aunt frequently talking about some woman to the east whom she despised and cursed. She even hated her son, a boy named Stenstrom whom she hoped to torment.

And, eventually, her aunt would call for Gwen. “GWENDOLYN… COME HERE!!” rang out in her thoughts. Dreading each step, Gwen would come down the stairs and enter the parlor where her aunt and darkness waited.

copyright 2012, Ren Garcia and Eve Ventrue